Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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New York toughens DWI consequences

Drunk driving is a serious issue not only in New York but around the nation. The penalties for being convicted of driving while intoxicated have increased over several decades in most states. New Yorkers who have faced such convictions know that the state consequences can include revocation of driving privileges, high fines and potentially even jail time.

An article recently published in the media details further strengthening of New York’s drunk driving laws. Two specific changes have recently been announced by the governor. One change will reduce the chance that a court will waive the requirement for drivers convicted of DWIs to install an ignition interlock device. Additionally, drivers will now need to utilize the device for 12 months as opposed to six months as per the previous law.

Drivers that have had their licenses revoked but that have subsequently received conditional licenses after undergoing proper treatment are the subject of yet another change in the New York DUI law. Any driver found driving under the influence while holding a conditional license will now be charged with a felony instead of a lesser charge. People with conditional licenses are only allowed to drive when absolutely necessary, such as to or from work or school. Felony charges carry fines of $500 to $5,000 and prison or probation sentences up to four years.

Drivers that get behind the wheel after even one drink should be aware of these laws and know how to remain safe and legal. Anyone who may be facing such charges could benefit from a consultation with a DWI attorney.

Source: Gothamist, “Drunk Driving With Conditional License Now A Felony In NY State,” Rebecca Fishbein, November 1, 2013

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